Looking Back Dec. 27

As a new year arrives, take a look back at events of the world 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.


* The U. S. population reached 92 million, with 13.5 million of that number foreign-born.

* The average working man earned just under $15 a week for a 54-60 work week.

* The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.

* China abolished slavery, but enslavement of women remained legal.

* National Cash Register had sales of $100,000 after improving equipment with the addition of a small electric motor.

* A bomb exploded at the Los Angeles Times, killing 20 men. The bomb was placed to silence opposition to organized labor.

* Within the first month of recruitment, the Fuller Brush Co. hired 260 men to sell its products door-to-door. Each salesman paid $17 plus the cost of the products for his (all men) part of the business.

* The United States had 1,000 miles of concrete road, up from 144 in 1900.

* Steel began replacing wood in automobile bodies.

* Tool-and-die cutter Duncan Black sold his car for $600 and borrowed another $1,200 from the bank. He and fellow worker Alonzo Decker began making tools.

* Women accounted for nearly 40 percent of U.S. college undergraduates. Many coed colleges set quotas to limit female admissions.

* Neon lighting for advertising was invented by 29-year-old Georges Claude.

* Evinrude Motors was founded by 33-year-old Ole Evinrude, who helped develop the Harley Davidson motorcycle in 1903.

* The Boy Scouts of America and the Campfire Girls were founded.

* Made-at-home bread accounted for 70 percent of all bread consumed in the United States.

* The trend toward looser, lighter clothing for women picked up. The popularity of sports, like tennis, helped steer clothing toward comfort and away from corsets.

* Comet Halley was visible from Earth.

* Henry Ford sold 10,000 automobiles.

* A Big Ben wind-up alarm clock cost $2.50.


* Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president. Unemployment was 20.1 percent and the cost of first-class postage was 3 cents.

* "Your Hit Parade" made its debut on radio.

* Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.

* The first major league night baseball game was played in Cincinnati.

* The Social Security Act became law.

* Airplanes were banned from flying over the White House.

* Porky Pig made his debut in the Looney Tunes cartoon, "I Haven't Got a Hat."

* Persia was renamed Iran.

* The Dust Bowl destroyed much farmland and livestock. The temperature in Chicago reached 109 degrees.

* The New Deal Executive Order 7034 created the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

* Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded.

* The first Penguin paperback books were published.

* Parker Brothers released the board game Monopoly.

* Only 10 percent of America's 30 million rural residents had electricity in the home.


* In Greensboro, N.C., four black college students began a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter. They were not served, but were allowed to stay at the counter. Six months later, the same four were served lunch at that same counter.

* Elvis Presley returned from Germany after serving two years there in the U.S. Army.

* The United States announced that 3,500 American soldiers would be sent to Vietnam.

* President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the world's first oral contraceptive pill.

* Cassius Clay won the gold medal in heavyweight boxing during the Summer Olympics.

* U.S population reached 179,245,000.

* Roy Orbison released "Only the Lonely," Chubby Checker released "The Twist" and Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" reached the top of the charts.

* "My Three Sons" made its television debut as did "The Flintstones."

* The first televised presidential debate took place between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was later elected and became the youngest man ever elected president.


* This would turn out to be the deadliest year for civil aviation, with a death toll of 1,631 people.

* The Federal Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS.

* Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Beirut in March. He was not released until Dec. 4, 1991.

* Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke. The response was so negative that the original Coke was back on the market in less than three months. Cherry Coke was introduced with much better results.

* U.S. Route 66 was officially decommissioned.

* The comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" debuted in 35 newspapers.

* The public was introduced to the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable.

* DNA was first used in a criminal case.

* The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's law mandating one minute of silent prayer in public schools was a violation of the First Amendment.

* Compact discs and CD players were becoming popular.

* Reebok paid $118 million in cash for shoe manufacturer Rockport. Reebok sales for the year reached $370 million.

* A record 43,000 U.S farms went bankrupt.

* Lasers were used for the first time in the United States to clean out clogged arteries.

* One of the most popular songs was "We Are the World" by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.